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Navigating the Laws That Shaped L.A.

For more than a year now, the Laws That Shaped L.A. column has been chronicling a running list of laws that a range of experts say have made a significant impact on the people and places of this region -- and oftentimes, far beyond.

As regular readers of the column know, the columns are automatically archived beginning with this page: Laws That Shaped L.A. Archives

That automatic archive appears chronologically by the date each column was published.

For readers who are interested in more subject-matter groupings, today we present just such an index. Please note that many columns are cross-listed and appear in multiple subject sections.

Two women hold signs which read, 'Suburban zoning defense league.' Photo from the Hollywood Citizen News / Valley Times Collection, February 16, 1957. Photo courtesy of The Los Angeles Public Library

BUILT ENVIRONMENT

The Roots of Sprawl: Why We Don't Live Where We Work

Why is the Los Angeles Skyline So Bland?

How Bunker Hill Lost Its Victorians

Sprawl: What Happens When You Legislate Against Vibrant Streets

How Downtown L.A. Became a Place to Live (Without Parking)

The Law That Killed The L.A. River

Survey Says: How Thomas Jefferson Made the Streets of L.A.

The Under-Appreciated 1990 Immigration Law That Changed Koreatown

Teddy Roosevelt's Signature Let Los Angeles Grow

How The Westside Became So Crowded

The End of the Road: The Idea That Took A Toll on How We Travel

Why Buildings Turn Their Backs on the L.A. River

Prop 13's Hidden Effects on the Built Environment

How Prop 84 Helped the Homeless and Added Affordable Housing

My Way or the Highway: Why Mega-Roads Rule The City

The Birth of Sprawl: How Ending the Great Depression Meant Inventing the Suburbs

How CEQA Allows Anyone to Thwart Development

In Defense of CEQA, the 'Bill of Rights' for Environmental Democracy

How Rancho Owners Lost Their Land and Why That Matters Today

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DESIGN

Why is the Los Angeles Skyline So Bland?

Why Automobiles Look The Way They Do

Why Buildings Turn Their Backs on the L.A. River

Street Food is Not A Crime

Prop 13's Hidden Effects on the Built Environment

How Downtown L.A. Became a Place to Live (Without Parking)

The Under-Appreciated 1990 Immigration Law That Changed Koreatown

How Bunker Hill Lost Its Victorians

Man selling fresh clean desert air for 50 cents a balloonfull in front of Loew's State Theatre in Los Angeles, Oct. 22, 1954. Herald-Examiner Collection photo courtesy of The Los Angeles Public Library

ECOLOGY

How Los Angeles Began to Put its Soggy Days Behind

Don't Bury Your Head in the Sand: Why The Clean Water Act Matters

When It Comes To Water, Why L.a. is Better Off Than Texas

When the Eco Zeitgeist Changed

Power Play: California, Electricity and Climate Change

How Yellowstone Led to Los Angeles

Teddy Roosevelt's Signature Let Los Angeles Grow

Why California's Beaches are Open to Everyone

How CEQA Allows Anyone to Thwart Development

In Defense of CEQA, the 'Bill of Rights' for Environmental Democracy


ECONOMY

Proposition 13: The Sacred Cow That Won't GO Away

Prop 13's Hidden Effects on the Built Environment

The Birth of Sprawl: How Ending the Great Depression Meant Inventing the Suburbs

Street Food is Not A Crime

Why California's Beaches are Open to Everyone

How Prop 84 Helped the Homeless and Added Affordable Housing

In Defense of CEQA, the 'Bill of Rights' for Environmental Democracy

The Under-Appreciated 1990 Immigration Law That Changed Koreatown

How Bunker Hill Lost Its Victorians

ELECTIONS

Dr. Strangevote, Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Ballot Initiatives

ENERGY

Power Play: California, Electricity and Climate Change

Evelyn Ashford (center) wins the 100 meter run at the ARCO Jesse Owens Games in 1986. Photo from the Herald-Examiner Collection and courtesy the Los Angeles Public Library

EQUAL RIGHTS

Title IX: Why So Many More Women and Girls Play and Win at Sports

When California Decided Who Could Have Kids and Who Could Not

How World War II Era Internment Camps Changed Little Tokyo, Los Angeles and America

In Defense of CEQA, the 'Bill of Rights' for Environmental Democracy

How Rancho Owners Lost Their Land and Why That Matters Today

Skid Row's Toilet Woes: Where Going to the Bathroom is Illegal

FOOD

Street Food is Not A Crime

When This Law Ended, What Happened to Mexican Immigration?

How Rancho Owners Lost Their Land and Why That Matters Today

FREE SPEECH

Los Angeles and the First Amendment

Why is Civic Activism and Journalism Legal and Who was Jerry Schneiderman?

HOMELESSSNESS

How Prop 84 Helped the Homeless and Added Affordable Housing

Skid Row's Toilet Woes: Where Going to the Bathroom is Illegal

Bill King and Ernest Gustafson exhibit a new green card in this 1989 photo.  Photo by Akili-Casundria Ramsess. Courtesy of The Los Angeles Public Library.

IMMIGRATION & ETHNICITY

When This Law Ended, What Happened to Mexican Immigration?

The Under-Appreciated 1990 Immigration Law That Changed Koreatown

The Immigration Law That Changed Postwar Chinatown

Street Food is Not A Crime

How Rancho Owners Lost Their Land and Why That Matters Today

How World War II Era Internment Camps Changed Little Tokyo, Los Angeles and America

The Immigration Law That Shaped Postwar Chinatown

LABOR

When This Law Ended, What Happened to Mexican Immigration?

PUBLIC HEALTH

How Los Angeles Began to Put its Soggy Days Behind

Why Automobiles Look The Way They Do

Street Food is Not A Crime

The Law That Killed The L.A. River

Don't Bury Your Head in the Ground: Why The Clean Water Act Matters

When the Eco Zeitgeist Changed

Behind California's Ban on Assault Weapons

When California Decided Who Could Have Kids and Who Could Not

When The Olympics and L.A. Youth Sports Changed Forever

Why California's Beaches are Open to Everyone

How Prop 84 Helped the Homeless and Added Affordable Housing

Opponents of Roberti-Roos gather at City Hall, 1989. Photo by Mike Sergieff, from the Herald-Examiner Collection. Photo courtesy the Los Angeles Public Library

PUBLIC SAFETY

Why Los Angeles Isn't A Beach Town

Behind California's Ban on Assault Weapons

Why is the Los Angeles Skyline So Bland?

Skid Row's Toilet Woes: Where Going to the Bathroom is Illegal

SPORTS

When The Olympics and L.A. Youth Sports Changed Forever

Title IX: Why So Many More Women and Girls Play and Win at Sports

TAXES

Proposition 13: The Sacred Cow That Won't Go Away

Prop 13's Hidden Effects on the Built Environment

A four-level interchange, photographed in 1961. Photo courtesy Los Angeles Public Library

TRANSPORTATION

My Way or the Highway: Why Mega-Roads Rule The City

Why Automobiles Look The Way They Do

Free The Jitney! When Buses, Bicycles, Light Rail and Feet Aren't Enough

The End of the Road: The Idea That Took A Toll on How We Travel

How Downtown L.A. Became a Place to Live (Without Parking)

How The Westside Became So Crowded

Survey Says: How Thomas Jefferson Made the Streets of LA

Bland 1976 Downtown skyline. Photo courtesy of the Los Angeles Public Library

URBAN PLANNING

Why Los Angeles Isn't A Beach Town

The Roots of Sprawl: Why We Don't Live Where We Work

The Birth and Growth of City Planning

Why is the Los Angeles Skyline So Bland?

Does Zoning Matter in Los Angeles?

Sprawl: What Happens When You Legislate Against Vibrant Streets

How Bunker Hill Lost Its Victorians

How Downtown L.A. Became a Place to Live (Without Parking)

The Law That Killed The L.A. River

Survey Says: How Thomas Jefferson Made the Streets of LA

How Yellowstone Led to Los Angeles

How The Westside Became So Crowded

The End of the Road: The Idea That Took A Toll on How We Travel

Why Buildings Turn Their Backs on the L.A. River

Proposition 13: The Sacred Cow That Won't Go Away

Prop 13's Hidden Effects on the Built Environment

How Rancho Owners Lost Their Land and Why That Matters Today

My Way or the Highway: Why Mega-Roads Rule The City

The Birth of Sprawl: How Ending the Great Depression Meant Inventing the Suburbs

Free The Jitney! When Buses, Bicycles, Light Rail and Feet Aren't Enough

How Prop 84 Helped the Homeless and Added Affordable Housing

How CEQA Allows Anyone to Thwart Development

In Defense of CEQA, the 'Bill of Rights' for Environmental Democracy

Channelizing the L.A. River. Image courtesy USC Digital Archives

WATER

Why Los Angeles Isn't a Beach Town

The Law That Killed The L.A. River

Don't Bury Your Head in the Ground: Why The Clean Water Act Matters

Why California's Beaches are Open to Everyone

When the Eco Zeitgeist Changed

Teddy Roosevelt's Signature Let Los Angeles Grow

Why Buildings Turn Their Backs on the L.A. River

When It Comes To Water, Why L.A. is Better Off Than Texas

Top photo: Manipulated image of interchange stretched around the globe. Image courtesy Los Angeles Public Library

Have a suggestion for a Law That Shaped L.A. or someone to interview? Contact Jeremy Rosenberg via: arrivalstory AT gmail DOT com. Also contact or follow Rosenberg on Twitter @LosJeremy

About the Author

Jeremy Rosenberg is a Los Angeles-based writer, editor, and consultant whose work has appeared in various books, magazines, newspapers, and online.
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